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Paul: Hey there it's Paul McCarthy in to kick off this week's episode. I want to start with a quick quiz. I'm going to give you three industries and I want you to think about the very first brand names that pop into your mind. You ready. The name of a cola company. The name of an American car company. And the name of a baby shampoo company. Now if you're like most people the first names that popped into your mind were Coca-Cola, Ford Motor Company and Johnson and Johnson now to try and make that happen. Those companies have spent billions that's billions with a B to get their brand to be the first one that comes to mind. This week's episode is all about branding about the power of your brand and how important it is to make sure you've got the right name and had a package and position your expertise to make sure that your brand is the one that people are going to think about. So we're going to talk all about branding your business. But first let's cue the intro
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Warwick: Welcome to the marketers club podcast. The show all about helping you work smarter earn more and accelerate your success And now here's your host Paul McCarthy.
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Paul: So welcome to episode 37 of the marketers club podcast I am your host Paul McCarthy and I'm here to help you market your talent so you can earn what you're worth and ultimately make more of a difference in the world. Great to have your company for another episode. Welcome to the show if you're joining me for the first time. So here's the question What's in a name. Well according to my guest today a lot. Brand names are really important. A big part of your success as a brand comes down to what you call yourself and perhaps you wrestled for a long time trying to think about what to call your business or perhaps you're still thinking about that now. What will you call it. Well it's a pretty important decision as we'll discover from my conversation with Louise Karsh today. Now Louise Karsh is the author of the book word glue which she has put together a whole system for how you can quickly come up with great powerful brand names. We also explore and took the opportunity to explore with Louise the process of writing a book as positioning for your expertise which is another really important part of your brand awareness in a marketplace. At the end of the day we are living in a world where grabbing attention is getting increasingly difficult. So knowing how to start off on the right foot start with a strong brand name that really speaks to people that grabs people's attention and being able to package your expertise is going to be a really important part of your success. So what I want to keep you waiting any longer on a dive into my conversation with Louise Cash said Louise cash welcome to the market a club podcast great to have you on the show.
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Paul: It's a pleasure and an honor Paul.
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Paul: So Louise congratulations first and foremost brilliant book word glue that you've released. You're a branding expert and this is really about the power of brand. So this might be the that's one of the most timely books given the state of the world that we are living in right now the importance for us to have a strong brand. So let's start there why is it so important for us to focus and develop a strong brand name
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Louise: All of you brave souls who are listening to Paul's podcast. You were competing against Coca Cola's two billion dollar marketing budget and that's just one company. So if you are not a breakout brand you're going to blend in and sell your brand your message your name your story your attention economy you have so little time now to get noticed. So that's why brand matters more than ever.
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Paul: When we talk about an attention economy and how little time how much time do we have for people to understand what it is that we do.
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Louise: I think it's less than two seconds. The brain is a filtering machine it's filtering stuff out all the time. So if you don't have something that speaks to your audience they're not going to listen they're not going to see because they've got what's called infield B.S. and that's a term that was coined in 1973 by a gentleman by the name of Alvin Toffler who wrote the book Future Shock. I mean it was 50 years ago. So if that was info obesity now we're like I don't know I don't even know what to call the age we're in. Well I as I called it the attention economy but that's why it matters so much.
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Paul: So we have really limited time to be able to communicate our message and that's obviously our starting point here to help people understand what they need to do so. How do I assess the quality of the brand I'm currently using. I suspect that many of the people listening to this show will have a brand already established. So the question is is my brand strong enough is it communicating what I need to do. So what's my starting point to be able to assess the quality of my own brand right now.
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Louise: Your accountant your accountant is gonna tell you you're making money or you're not. And I renamed a number of brands over the years and that's when I realized that naming was a superpower because I had these really good people doing work that mattered and they had a lousy brand name. The first guy TPG group it was this gentleman Colin Dombrowski who's about to finish a PHD in orthotics lower leg limb issues. Well I stumble over that word like he made our thought on all those things but nobody was paying attention to him because he had a lousy name. We renamed his business and he increases revenue by 130 percent in 18 months with a new name which was social science because a position him as the expert. He was so your accountant is the first place to look. Your bottom line is your first base elected whether to know whether or not your brand is working.
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Paul: It's interesting because it's something I say to people that I work with is that your marketing abilities are first and foremost reflected in a bank balance. They're not reflected in the talent that you bring to the marketplace as a lot of people are very talented but they don't make the money they deserve to earn. And one of the things you're pointing out to us is one key reason for that might be simply the way we've named our businesses. So what are some of the mistakes that you see people making with their brand. What are the errors that we're making with the way we're naming our brand.
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Louise: Well let me say that a good name is the best insurance for long term success. And that came from our rice and Jack Trout who wrote the book Positioning so your people those of you who are listening you need to know who you're serving and figure out the niche that is you where can you stand out and be the number one in your niche then your name. What happens is people will choose a name based on like versus don't like. Do you like this name. You don't. Steve Jobs when Ken Segall named the IMac Steve Jobs didn't like the name IMac at first because he used the like don't like filter. Now iMac is brilliant it gives a whole ecosystem for names. What we know about the brain is the brain first focuses. Remember I said it filters out things let's say with F words it filters out things. Well a brand name that works is one that pulls focus. So that's why Virgin works for an airline. That's why Amazon works for a book retailer. That's why Apple works for a tech company. They're unexpected they pull focus so the brain first. It's an ancient brain and it goes tree to tree to tree.
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Louise: Saber Tooth Tiger like we are wired to look for what's different. So first we pull focus that's largely unconscious. Actually it's almost all unconscious. Then we feel something. What is this thing that I notice. Feel like and then we go to how do I figure out what this means for me. So that order focus feeling figuring out is the opposite of when people judge a brand by like they go right to figuring out whether it works or not. That's the complete wrong order. So the best thing that people can do is figure out a name that that's going to work for them. And if they got an existing brand and they're scared to change that brand name they can create a sister brand with a new name. They can find one that's true remarkable. They can test it in their market audience and show them a bunch of names and say which one grabbed you show the names in different order. So you're not getting the privacy and recency effect the first one or the last one pulling focus and then you'll notice what gets noticed and that's how you want to make your decision. What grabs people.
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Paul: Well it's great advice. How do we pull focus on it. That was going to be my my question and one of my questions for you is this oh perhaps a lot of people who are sitting on a name that they're unsure of but they've put a lot of time and energy into it. Is that kind of risk reward that feeling of fear of letting go of something. So just walk us through I guess that the process that you go through with with clients you've helped a lot of people to make very successful name changes so what what is the process of walking somebody away from what they have done to something new.
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Louise: It's a very scary walk for folks because they do feel invested in that old name. Daniel Kahneman the economist who won the Nobel Prize calls that loss aversion right and we hate losing even though the gain might be immense. So the process I take them through is I look at their existing bland brand if they're not sure if it's working like I did with that for Dorothy's I showed the brand to his market audience which was doctors and I asked all these doctors what do you think of this brand. What feeling comes to mind. And I noted what they said. That's a qualitative information. And so that's a qualitative approach for this science nerds out there. And then a quantitative I had a certain number of doctors I had a sample size of twelve. So of those four people what percent said what. So when you give that data to the person who's making decision about to change or not change a name plus you add the accountant balance you know your bank balance that's going to give you a real sense of oh what I think people associate with my brand is not what I want people to associate with my brand. And in order for me to grow I need to change the meaning people ascribe to the brand.
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Paul: And I think that's the reality that sometimes we as the creators of our names we get it we understand it. But the key thing you're pointing at us is if the market doesn't get it then it doesn't matter.
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Louise: You might be afraid that the name we come up with a market might not get but a name will ascribe meaning over time. So rule X hands rules are made up at that name. You wanted a name that would fit on the face of a watch and be understood understood in any language. Rolex sounds royal the mouth sound the mouth field sounds royal the Rolex remains of luxury Scotts and the Lexus also harkening because it wasn't hundreds for the Latin four legs which meant King. So was all this sort of meaning. And then of course over time by having a brand that's really dedicated to excellence that name that meant nothing means something Haagen-Dazs did the same thing. You can choose a name that you're not you're not sure your market's going to get. If you choose a name that's got the right mouth feel and sound so we can go sized nerdy here if you want. But let me pause there Paul.
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Paul: Well it's really fascinating because the idea of the way it sounds and rolls off the tounge I suspect that most certainly small business owners had never put any thought about things like that into the way the brand name is actually sounds when it's spoken and how it rolls off the tongue and so what's made it's fascinating to do I guess just understand the level of science that you put behind designing a brand right.
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Louise: And I'll tell you that you know the science is really cool there are people doing pitches on what's called a sound hierarchy. So large rooms sound small boom room sounds big and the vowel sound that our mouths make convey meaning we know that from science. Recently I named a Canadian tech companies offering and they wanted to call this company B Kumble because you stumble as you find your way it's a career app for the country and will obviously be used beyond the country. But Be Kumble how does it how do you feel when you say that word so try to say it out loud Be Kumble Yeah and what does that do. What has what is it how you feel. It's interesting is a beKumble it's interesting but is it does it make you feel good or bad down off like where does it hit me.
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Paul: Well to me it doesn't make me feel positive.
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Louise: Exactly. So that's a name that we're gonna go with. And I said stop. Look they were so excited they bought my book they read my book they came up with this. Rebecca calls me I'm like Uh no I'm not letting you call your brand that lifts people up something that in terms of sound brings people down. So what we came up with was Inkley i n q l I. And they tested that with their youth market and that made people think of squids and you know that squid interview from finding nemo and all these positive things and they could use a little full graphics that were drawn in a sort of cheerful inky style. So initially when you say that try to try saying Inkley
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Paul: Inkley. Yeah yeah it's got a broader it's got a positive it's got a almost like a moving forward creative element to it
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Louise: it's got bounce it's got lift so you can certainly make up a name because it's getting hard to trademark or get the you or else for a name now so you can use expressions you can make up names. It's a free range you can you can have fun with it.
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Paul: So tell us just a little bit about why did you write the book Why was it time to put a book like this together for or for businesses to understand the power of brand names.
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Louise: I actually always wanted to write a book period and I tried three or four and at first it started out as a narrowing that is a project that you think is close to what you want to do and trains you on what you want to do. So there's a bunch of other books that I want to write. I thought okay I'll write this one because it'll train me how to write a book and then as I got into it I realized oh my gosh I've been dating for a decade. I didn't even realize I've been name for a decade. I knew that I had increased people's revenues but I didn't realize that that was a pattern. I mean it's funny you do things and you don't you're so busy doing things they don't realize the cumulative impact of expertise that you're developing over time. So I chose write a book because I always want to write one. And in the writing of that book I realized there were very few naming books in the world and no naming book shared every naming method none. And that's when I went OK if I was to leave the planet what can I leave behind. That's really practically useful. There's other things I wanted to Paul I hope I don't leave anytime soon but you know I was a very much a service orientation. I put so much love and because my master's degrees in education and training at Harvard thinking routines. I used a series of methods to keep the naming as simple as possible so teens could generate names in 10 minutes or less like nobody else had done that. So So I found it a parody. And it's gotten the axiom Business Book Award it just won the platinum Hermes creative award because I think people when they see it they're like wow this is this is a toolkit.
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Paul: This is a power tool kit lets the thing it so much more than I guess a book it is. It is a tool kit is a process you walking people through you're sharing exact strategies and practices that you use to help people find names so you've been incredibly generous to give all of that away in one book.
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Louise: My mother said you know I put a quote on the back cover. Why are you giving away all your secrets for those folks are ever wondering about whether to work with an ad agency in the front of the book is The Q twelve. These are twelve strategic questions that a great agency will ask you before they brand you. So the cute well we'll give people a solid foundation to either create something new or to tweak something that's already existing. And I've also uncovered. So the three sections of the book Power Pop and pro and so covers. What are the principles. What are the practices and then how do you launch all illegals. Logos trademarking stuff.
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Paul: It's all they're given to us all. So it's a it's a fantastic resource and I think you know for anybody who's uncertain about the power of their name and whether their name is actually saving their business they definitely need to dive into this book to understand and to test some of the principles that I've got.
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Louise: Well and it's also what happens when you say your name to somebody else does it raise their eyebrow and they go wow that's cool. Or do they knit their eyebrow. Does it make them smile or does it make them sort of scowl a name like the Australian brand ladies who shoot their lunch. One of my favorite brands. I helped them win the Australian Marketing Institute Award. I didn't name them but I helped tell their story. That is such a charming unusual break out name. And I want all the people that you're working with all the people who are listening to get the attention they deserve and it often starts with the right name.
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Paul: So Louise let me change tack a little bit here and talk to you a little bit about the journey of being an author. So you mentioned about putting the book together and the desire to write more. But tell me about I guess the challenges the challenges of putting a book together getting it added for Marketplace. Because I suspect a lot of my listeners are thinking about how they can package up their expenses and should they record or write a book put something like that together and and share it with the world as you have talked to me a little bit about the process and the challenge of doing that one level of challenge is making the choice to do it.
00:18:31:11 - 00:20:16:12
Louise: And Paul you've written books so you know that's like I'm choosing to be an author. It means you have to put your asset down on the chair. And write it means you have to commit to finishing a lot of things that made me hit send to the printer was I had been lobbying to get a grant for the park down the street and you know getting a three hundred two thousand dollar grant but in that process I became friends with the mayor like just casual friends we went out for coffee to talk about the park. I let her know I was working on this book which goes oh want you the really lit fast. I was like yeah okay. I like the fifth festival is like four four months away. I had a good what I call a s a shitty first draft and but that gave me a hard date. So I had to launch it by then which was really good for me because I would have like futz around with it. The most important book you'll ever read is the one you write because when you write down what you know you deepen your wisdom and you position yourself as somebody who knows what they're talking about. I just CEO see article about my book his wife partner said you need to talk to her. He saw the book. He hired me over coffee chat that would not have happened if I didn't have the book. So first of all do it do it do it do it do it. Second part so that's the why the how is you can do it anywhere you want. You could do a white paper you could do a Kindle version you could do. It's never been easier to put your thoughts out there. You can also do small runs you can do micro runs and 50 bucks and then you can get feedback or like even smaller than that get feedback and tweak it.
00:20:16:14 - 00:21:23:13
Paul: I agree I think that we're at a time where it's really really important if you want to stand out. I mean this is really what this episode is about. It's about how do we stand out in a marketplace and having a powerful brand name is one of the key elements and it's something that you've been teaching people to do but perhaps whether deliberately or accidentally you've found that there is another really powerful branding positioning piece that we need as an expert in the marketplace and that is to package our expertise up and that's what the book allows you to do and I think for most people a book is much more than a revenue stream. It's not even necessarily even intended to be a revenue stream because the revenue stream comes from exactly what you just mentioned that because you're a published author because you've been able to package your expertise and show that framework then people got well let's get you to come and do that work and that's where you get your payday. So that's what the value is of going through the work. I'm interested to understand what it was like to have to put your expertise together like that.
00:21:23:15 - 00:23:02:26
Louise: Let's talk about the putting it together the packaging part you want your book to look as professional as possible and a method for doing that is threefold tried a cover of a book that you like now line looks like a composition book from the 50s 60s 70s 80s because you're composing a name. So that cover makes sense to figure out the front cover look the back cover my book is like Rene Brown's daring greatly in terms of relapse. So that's what I use with a testimonial same layout the insides look like Frederick herons. It's called the thick book so I knew after I created the content how I wanted it packaged the inside cover has got all the stuff that a real book quote unquote would have. So it's got the eyes the doing number and the texture contributors and then copyright stuff like you did look touch feel of the book. It doesn't feel like an indie book. Well it feels like a good indie book. It doesn't feel like a quote unquote self published vanity press book so the color the feel the weight the shape I got rounded corners all those things kick it out of the. This is a vanity press piece. So that's the look how you pocket your expertise is I what you really think about. What do I know and how do I cluster that information to be of service to the reader. I always had a reader in mind I knew as a serial entrepreneur who was incredibly busy. So for me it's a tip flip and dip a dip in and you flip through your dip and you find the tip you like so you can use it and come up with things in 10 minutes or less.
00:23:03:02 - 00:24:26:07
Paul: Well it's got I mean it's just going through the mechanics I guess as people are thinking about and that's what I want to alert people to is we've moved into this new era really a new time where we're most people are operating at home they're isolated they their business models having to pivot and change dramatically things are shifting a lot. But I suspect that one of the things that's gonna be really important as we move forward through this is in this kind of hazy world that we're in right now. How do I get people's attention. And Heather will do that quickly and how do I position that on a person you should pay attention to. And I think so. It's the unique combination of these two things that you're bringing with understanding the power of our brand name and the way we position our expertise that you've just put yourself through. So I think it gives people a good insight into where we want to go and what we should be focusing on. And now we know it's a kind of common thing that we're hearing people say oh I've got a lot more time on my hands. And if that's the case then maybe now is the time to start creating that manuscript creating that expert framework starting to jot down your expertise and starting to package it up in a way that people can consume it more than just simply a tip sheet or they say things it's it's a it's a meaty calling card is a book.
00:24:26:19 - 00:25:12:25
Louise: And you said it so beautifully it's a framework of your expertise if you really want to serve your clients who want to be of ultimate value. You are in not only the attention economy but it's an attention trust cycle so you get attention. You don't trust. And by having a book where you're generously sharing what you know that will help them. That gives you the trust then you get some more attention. And so the circle gods and it's right. We're building a relationship through those those channels of time attention trust that's gonna be taken but people will pay much more attention to someone they perceive as an expert than somebody who has a fleeting knowledge of an area. And so if we really want to hold somebody as attention and stay with them that's what we're going to need to do.
00:25:12:27 - 00:25:51:06
Paul: So just talk briefly about what have been the challenges for you of being able to get it out to the world to share with people this book because we know it's got incredible wisdom insight and it's got some great advice and practical strategies people can apply to improve a brand name without even having to engage a consultant if they want to. I mean of course they can come to you if they really want somebody to guide them through a process but you've given them all of the tools they're going to need. And to grab that attention. But what's the challenge for you as a in terms of marketing getting it out to people so it can help them get those results.
00:25:51:10 - 00:27:33:20
Louise: I knew it was a good book and I don't see that from an ego place. I have been a book reviewer for I'm Canadian. I've been a Canadian book review annual contributor for years so I'd read a lot of business books. I knew it was good. I did one version and then the second version and then the third version was gonna be the international version which meant dark humor and here humorous about the Canadian Australian way vs. the US way and neighborhood and all those words had to be kicked out at that point. I got a really key asset editor by the name of Ruth. Ruth Wilson and another woman Cara his name and just looking on from the second variable they were professionals in the publishing industry. So they're able to say Louise What about this. What about this. What about this. I was a little too close to the book. I thought it was fine but I listened to them and made it is really good as I could. And then I knew it was like I knew it was hot but people because they're overwhelmed by books they've got in their head and go Oh that's nice and they barely look at it. And I was like OK I spent three years on this book. What do I need to do to let people know beyond my opinion that this is rock solid. So that's when I started entering book contests and marketing contests and now I'm starting to win these awards. It's an external person going Hey this is the real deal. Like a Platinum Award from Hermes it's different than a gold award. It's like not only is it good but it's like the job good. So when you do your book if you keep in mind I want to be totally pro here. I want to give everything I can. But I also want to do it in as professional manner as possible so that if I'm entering contest if it's landing on a CEO's desk they know you're the real deal.
00:27:33:22 - 00:28:02:06
Paul: I think you've definitely done that and I congratulate you for doing that but you've also pointed out to us that you know the three years he worked on is book this takes time. That might be one of the things we have a little bit more of now so let's get to work on it. Let's start packaging it packaging up what you know and getting it out to the world because the rewards are there for you if you're willing to do the work and that you've got something of quality to give to people. So that's two key pieces that need to be in place.
00:28:02:08 - 00:28:55:14
Louise: So right. And there's other thing that I learned to it was it was not an easy journey but I remember as I rolled my books you know I was walking. Town hall is not too far from where I live. I'm literally rolling my books in a cart because I'm trying to live a green life not just on the way to the launch I guess had this moment of peace. It's like oh oh this is this is the moment I've been working for for all this time. And what I learned is who you become by being willing to go on the path of being author is a different person at the end than you were at the beginning. And Joseph Campbell talked about this the person who is willing to tame the dragon the dragon of self-doubt the Dragon are feeling like you're gonna be seen as a show off all those like Ping-Pong fights the person in the country tame that dragon gets the gold
00:28:55:20 - 00:29:24:07
Paul: they sure do and you deserve plenty of it because this is a great resource a gift to all of us that you've put into the marketplace and one that's gonna help a lot of businesses and encourage people to go out and get a copy of Word glue. So uh Louise if people want to reach out to you I want to connect. I've said I want to connect and get a copy of the book but for that I just want to learn more about branding and even maybe getting your help to do that. What's the best way for them to reach out to you.
00:29:24:12 - 00:29:46:27
Louise: The best way to get me is wordglue.co So wordglue.co. You can also find me on LinkedIn. Louise Karsh K A R C H that's a little harder to remember which is partly why I love work. Also in terms of branding I put in the book The Seven Questions any brand needs to ask before they go live. So that's in there too in the last section.
00:29:47:03 - 00:29:54:19
Paul: Well thank you so much for taking some time out to share your wisdom with us today on the on the podcast and I wish you all the success in the world with the book.
00:29:54:22 - 00:30:00:25
Louise: And Paul thank you so much for what you're doing for Australian entrepreneurs. You really are a hero in our community thank you.
00:30:00:27 - 00:31:30:13
Paul: So how strong is your brand. Is it a brand name that you've really spent a lot of time thinking about what you'd call your business did you maybe spend weeks months maybe coming up with that perfect name that we'd capture and explain what it is that you do. Or did you give scant regard really to the name. Just come up with anything and get started in your business. Well as Louise points out there really there is some evidence to show that the power of a brand name in being able to attract people to you. So if you're not attracting the audience that you want maybe looking at your brand name is something that you need to do that you need to explore a different way of communicating who you are so that you can attract an audience more effectively. If you do feel that your brand name is maybe getting in the way then I'd certainly encourage you to go and grab a copy of Louise's book. It'll be a great tool to helping you to brainstorm and find maybe a more creative name and something that better represents what it is that you do. So grab yourself a copy of Word glue. If your brand name is something that's troubling you. But I think above all as Louise pointed out ultimately brand names come to mean something over time that they build around a meaning around the name of the business. And I think it all comes down to the experience that we're creating that we're creating a positive experience that helps to position us effectively in a marketplace and attract the right type of audience to you.
00:31:31:00 - 00:32:49:20
Paul: So we need to pay careful attention to our brand and I think a big part of our branding certainly from a small business point of view is the consistency in which we're doing what we do. I think it's an area that sometimes people make mistakes by trying to get too creative and chopping and changing and changing fonts and styles and I think that if we can become a little bit more consistent then we can get more brand power in behind our brands. You know most of us don't have the budgets to bring in advertising agency or brand specialists who are going to cost hundreds of thousands even millions of dollars to build a brand and a logo and so forth so we're gonna need to make our brands stand for something. So if you get really clear about what that is what is it for you that you want to be known for and make sure that everything in your brand is lining up behind that. I think that that's gonna go a long way to helping you to attract the audience that you're looking for. So I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Louise Karsh and as I say if you're looking to improve the quality of your name your brand name then a copy of Word glue would go a long way to helping you to do that. So until we meet again next time I wish you all the very very best of luck with your businesses. But much more importantly with your lives. Take care. Bye for now.